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Impact events[edit]

Impact events in near human history seem to be corraborated by recently published stories.

These stories connection to the Holocene period goes back several millenia. The Burkle crater conjoins with the deluge of the cultures from Mesoptomia and the Tuttensee impact with Greek mythology along with Celtic stories undated yet recited. Agencius 12:23, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

i can say about this discussion is when the history seems the holocene period goes back into several millenia.


However, if the human-induced global warming continues, a super-interglacial might occur, and become warmer and possibly longer than any past interglacial periods in the Pleistocene.

This ain't neutral! While anthrogenic climate change is generally accepted, it shouldn't be presented as a fact. -b 02:23, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

See Talk:Anthropocene OldDigger 09:33, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree with above user. More to the point: this is a worst-case scenario that is used widely politically, but hardly jibes with the most-likely scenario presented by scientists not affiliated with political organizations. The scientific groups from places like the UN are handpicked for political reasons are not objective independent observers.Ftjrwrites (talk) 21:28, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Graphic Timeline[edit]

The graphic used to delineate the Quaternary Period in this article (as well as in the "Quaternary" article) presently seems to group the Pliocene into the Quaternary. The Quaternary Period only encompasses the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs.

Perid 22:35, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Can anyone manage a graphical timeline similar to the one in the Geologic time scale article? There's a note by that one saying the Holocene is too dense to be shown, and the reader will tend to click the link in the hope of seeing the holocene shown similarly, and be disappointed. Oliver Low 15:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The 8.2ka event page merge[edit]

Can you provide some reasoning? Not averse in principle, but the page may grow over time.

My reasoning was that the article was listed on Articles Needing Context and when I cleaned up the article I noted that it was a lot shorter than many of the stubs in that cat. If you really feel there is growth potential then don't merge, but it is pointless to have an article of one sentence. Martin Hinks 13:21, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Info box made into template page?[edit]

The This time period is part of the Holocene epoch and related boxed info on articles of ancient cultures should be made into a template, for instance template:Holocene, instead of being individually made for each subsequent page. So that we only need add {{Holocene}} or etc to the page. Nagelfar 09:06, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree, and so I've created the template (although I'll leave it to others to start using it). We might want to bring it in line with the similar info box seen on the Pleistocene page and just show Holocene stages and cultures, though. --coldacid (Talk|Contrib) 04:42, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of the term Holocene[edit]

Holocene [Gr holos whole and Gr kainos new] perhaps those creating soundbite definitions (i.e. in the Holocene Calendar entry it states: the name means entirely recent, and the Holocene epoch entry it states: Recent Whole, which seem close enough and perhaps I am just arguing semantics about semantics, but it seems that the two different entries should have the soundbite definition be the same for better continuity between Wikipedia entries. It's just an idea. Galo1969X 04:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the "Recent Whole"; it seemed to be a very makeshift translation. Iblardi 22:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The Holocene as an Epoch[edit]

I'd like to query the definition of the Holocne as an epoch. As I understood it, there is still debate as to whether the Holocene is an epoch in its own right or is the latest interglacial era in the Pleistocene epoch. I am aware that the naming would indicate epoch over era (the latter normally ending in -ian, at least in the UK) but I wasn't aware that this unequivocal decision had been made. (talk) 21:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Use of past tense[edit]

In several places, the article uses past tense in a way that implies the Holocene has ended. When talking about issues with the Holocene fossil record, this presentation is especially unclear. The discussion is obviously in regard to the early Holocene, but it's quite confusing. I'll make a mess of it if I try, but it would be great if someone with expertise in both geology and grammar (and NPOV) would work on this issue.Ftjrwrites (talk) 21:31, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Pleistocene/Holocene technology chart and PIE bolt out of the blue[edit]

I disagree with the fundamental assumption of this chart that the end of the Pleistocene coincides with a major technology shift in the way shown. Certainly climate change was a factor, more in some places than others. But there was not always a clear shift to something that could be called Epipaleolithic, and Mesolithic should only be applied to northern Europe. In some places, shifts preceded the start of the Holocene by a few centuries. In others, the shifts came later if it all. Worse, the references to specific cultures is nonsensical. We know of thousands of cultures for these periods. These examples make little sense in this context. Most offensive (and telling) is the Kurgan reference. There's no prehistoric culture recognized by today's scholars as the "Kurgan culture." The term is a relic of an older theory about the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) homeland. It remains controversial and those scholars who generally adhere to its basic ideas today would not call it the "Kurgan culture" in the same sense that some of these other cultures are named. That's a conflation of two different meaning of the word culture. In the archaeological sense, a culture is group of remains from sites showing great similarity within a clear region. A "culture" in this sense may or may not equate to an actual people group, as we might tend to use the word "culture" in common parlance. Kurgan burials are characteristic of several archaeological cultures from the Eurasian steppe, but there is no single "Kurgan culture." Regardless, the Kurgan intrusion (pun intended) has no place in this geological article. And neither does most of the other stuff in this chart. A better substitute chart might more clearly define the various climatic eras within the Holocene, such as the Younger Dryas or the Little Ice Age.Ftjrwrites (talk) 21:48, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Someone please clarify this[edit]

I was very confused by this phrase: "Holocene started 10 14C k yr before present (11,703 calendar years before 1950)". So, 10,000 BP = 11,703 calendars years before 1950? I'm still trying to figure this out, moreover the other dates in the same paragraph. Thanks! :^)

The 14C probably refers to Carbon-14 dating. A carbon 14 date is a numerical calculation which is then adjusted to an actual date. -- SEWilco (talk) 05:46, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it (so I haven't edited it), but the "14C" is in the middle of a phrase, thus completely messing up its meaning. (talk) 01:53, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

New Ice Age Ahead - Part 2 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 14 May 2014 (UTC)


The article states that the Holocene epoch continued until the Anthropocene. However, I do not believe that Anthropocene is a geological term at all. The Geological time scale article does not mention it. It looks like a very recent neologism which is not (yet) widely accepted, but I am not a geologist. Can someone who is clarify please? Rachel Pearce (talk) 15:45, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I've heard geologists propose this term very recently, but it hasn't been generally accepted and thus shouldn't presented as fact. Bubbha (talk) 18:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

8000 BC, or 10,000 BC?[edit]

The article on the Holocene calendar says that the Era started 10,000 before 1AD, and to use the calendar, you only have to add a '1' to the front of the current year. According to this page, you have to add 8000 to the current year. Any way to reconcile this difference? Or am I not reading something properly? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Human civilization[edit]

Human civilization dates entirely within the Holocene.

How are we defining "human civilization" here? There most certainly were people living in groups, thus there were cultures, and arguably "civilizations" earlier than 10,000 years ago. A quick look at the Civilization article shows that there isn't necessarily consensus on the meaning of the term, thus on the beginning of "human civilization" at all. Can this quote be backed up somehow? If not, maybe it should be changed to reflect the subjective nature of this statement. romarin [talk ] 15:38, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I always thought civilized had a definition, since anthropologists seem to accept certain cultures such as Greeks, Romans, Persians etc. as civilized while Germanic tribes were 'barbarians'. I don't know the measure, but on a National Geographic show about Norsemen, he made the point that they called themselves barbarians, noticing a difference between themselves and Roman culture, but seeing no negative conotation to the phrase. IF that's true, there must be some measure (buildings, non-nomadic?) which could be used to get an early date. I've read that the first towns/cities were ~10,000 years ago, so that fits, but it was when I was young and a lot has been revised since them. Paddling bear (talk) 22:36, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a useful addition that puts the epoch in perspective. According to the Civilization article, civilization is in its "most widely used definition ... a descriptive term for a relatively complex agricultural and urban culture." Also, the oldest date the Cradle of civilization article mentions is 12000 BC. The rest of the paragraph is more questionable. What do a couple of 40 to 35k-year-old musical instruments have to do with civilization in the definition mentioned earlier? The answer: not much, if anything. So I'm going to delete that and move the sentence about civilization to the first paragraph. Zonder (talk) 01:56, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
In this context we should go with the archaeologists - cities (which means public buildings, not just large towns), class structure, etc. Nothing to do with barbarians or 'civilized'. The musical instruments bit didn't belong in this article. Dougweller (talk) 09:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Dating of the Holocene[edit]

I removed the unsourced 11,430 BP date and used only the 11,600 BP which is the one I've encountered. The reference to this article give 11,780 BP but I don't know where that's derived from. The way, the truth, and the light 05:56, 16 May 2007 (UTC) All datings in this article are extremely inaccurate and too often based upon a single or/and outdated source. HJJHolm (talk) 06:42, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

All datings in this article are extremely inaccurate and too often based upon a single or/and outdated source. HJJHolm (talk) 06:42, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Can you give us some better sources? Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 10:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

What did the oceans look like while all that ice was piled up on the continents?[edit]

The answer to my question could be of major importance for archaeologists. Just think about it for a moment. What would happen to our civilization if it were suddenly flooded. Never mind the "suddenly" part, let's just think about what would happen if it took ten or even a hundred years to for sea levels to rise by a hundred meters. What would we do? More importantly, how much would we lose? What impact would a general sea level rise of that magnitude have on our languages, our technologies and our politics? We aren't any better at adaptation than our ancestors were. If it came right down to it, I'd bet against us making it. Our ancestors survived it because they were tough, but even though they were tougher than we are, they almost certainly lost a lot of things that they knew about. Just ten meters of salt water can put a great many things we take for granted out of our reach. -- Brothernight (talk) 12:31, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

End the Holocene now, ask me how[edit]

I had a well sourced end of Holocene ref. Why remove it? Hcobb (talk) 05:40, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Holocene vs. Pleistocene[edit]

What makes the Holocene distinct from the Pleistocene? All I can make from the article is that it is basically just the most recent interglacial. --JorisvS (talk) 13:36, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Is there no one who can answer my question? --JorisvS (talk) 10:29, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
It's actually the Anthropocene, hence the difference. Hcobb (talk) 11:27, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean? I was specifically inquiring about the traditional epoch called the Holocene, not about the Anthropocene. --JorisvS (talk) 11:34, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
The Anthropocene is not official yet, let alone having a date of start. Usually, these epochs have some geological event, so the Anthropocene may start at the point when human activity changed the weather, though, I'm not sure we could identify an actual date. Don't conflate Anthropocene and Holocene. When the latter ends, the former will begin. The Holocene started, I believe, at the Younger Dryas.SkepticalRaptor (talk) 16:24, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

And the term Holocene is dated. It'll be discarded even before it's over (in a few centuries). Hcobb (talk) 12:39, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Since we only deal in reliable sources and verification, what proof have you? Since there has been no geological event that ends the Holocene, then it hasn't ended. If some organization has decided to rename the Holocene, then again bring a reliable source. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 16:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Refs are at Anthropocene, but the Holocene has always been the Homocene anyway, as it has always been about the footprint of man on the world. Hcobb (talk) 20:58, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the citations at the other article do not support the change in naming. Again, you might want to review it. And now you're saying it's "Homocene?" I don't mean to be cranky, but you're a moving target. I have never heard "Homocene" used. In general, epochs are defined by geological events, which is one of the reasons that Anthropocene has not been accepted as an official name. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 22:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

But please get back to my question, people: Why is the Holocene distinct from the Pleistocene, i.e. not just another stage of the Pleistocene? --JorisvS (talk) 22:38, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

The Holocene and the Pleistocene are the two series that make up the Quaternary. Mikenorton (talk) 22:49, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
But why? Since the stages of the Pleistocene are glacials and interglacials, why is the current interglacial a distinct series? --JorisvS (talk) 22:53, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
These are arbitrary. Usually there's a geological signature, like a layer of rock or something, but in this case it was a weather event that varied all over the world. It was essentially at the end of the last glaciation, where there was a mass extinction of mega fauna, the collapse of some human cultures, and the retreat of the ice sheet. You are assuming that there's some line, but as we get nearer to present day, lots of things blur. Since we're naming these epochs, we get to choose what the cutoffs are. There aren't that many rules about it, though there are definitive signatures as we go further back. You're asking a question that has no definitive answer. Read Younger Dryas for a slightly better definition of the beginning of the Holocene. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 03:05, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
The question as to "why" is a good one, and even as a professional palaeoclimatologist a good answer eludes me. The Holocene's just another interglacial among many, apart from the rise of increasingly technical human civilizations and their impact on the bio-/geo-/atmosphere. So the whole debate about whether to use Anthropocene instead seems a bit redundant, as we were always the only truly distinctive thing about the Holocene anyway. One practical consideration is, though, that the climatic history of the Holocene being studied perhaps more than those of all earlier periods combined. This is because the Holocene deposits tend to be the best preserved, have the best resolution, and are of most immediate relevance to helping understand future changes (as the background conditions were mostly the same as today). So in terms of intensity of research it certainly deserved a "special place". J.S.Salonen (talk) 12:00, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

How do you know noah's ark is a myth?[edit]

Hello Everyone I was reading this article and was confused and enraged by this line "the mythical story Noah's Ark." I have to say that Noah's ark is possibly a myth but possibly not, as well as there being significant evidence stating it is real. like how could the bible be written without people being there. so please remove the word "mythical" (talk) 02:44, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

"Myth" began life as a pejorative, but now the subject's been studied, it has been found that "[m]yths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests." Having only one supernatural character does not disqualify Noah's ark, though not qualifying as mythic should disqualify it from this list.

Ur, there is significant evidence there were lots of floods, so there could've been lots of arks. Heck, there one near me made of concrete planted in a moat, but it is a Buddhist temple resembling a riverboat, so wouldn't qualify for this list just yet. --Pawyilee (talk) 12:19, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

No pronunciation guide?[edit]

I wound up here looking for the current Age we're in and found Holocene. Pretty nifty. Only, in text you don't really know how it's pronounced.

Before I look like a fool at the next cocktail party, can someone add the proper pronunciation to this?

Infobox extinction dates[edit]

According to this article, the Holocene started 11,500 years ago. Looking at a number of pages - Smilodon, Nothrotheriops, American mastodon and short-faced bear being just a few that come to mind - the "temporal range" area of the Infobox says, for example "X - Late Pleistocene, X - 10,000/11,000 years ago", instead of "X - Early Holocene" With Smilodon it's even worse, 8,000 years. Am I missing something here, or are a lot of these animal pages incorrect? I'd edit them without asking this, but I'm not sure if it's me missing something or an actual error. Jackakraw (talk) 17:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Impact Events[edit]

This part, "perhaps inspiring deluge or inundation myths such as that of Noah's Flood." is one sided and even false. We cannot ignore the flooding of the Black Sea region, or the mention of a flood in so many different sources, as early as the Sumers, as far as I am aware of. Remember the end of the Ice Age... -Yozer1 (talk) 12:18, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

The use of "perhaps" in the phrase makes establishing a claim of truth or falsehood much more difficult than if the word were not there. In addition, the statement includes a citation to support the claim; please recall that verifiability outranks truth. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 16:32, 4 February 2015 (UTC)